Feb. 2, 2022

spiderflower, Tarenaya hassleriana

Spiderflower is a very familiar garden bloom. And a little research soon leads to fascinating articles about plant evolution. Studies inform us not only about the cleome family, but also the closely related mustards. Reading them is one challenge of technical verbiage after another. Fight your way through those battles then BOOM!, 'mustard bomb'. That doesn't sound very technical. Google that! You now have to battle your way through a jungle of items about video games and their weapons. Ultimately the prize is learning that mustard bomb refers to an escalating evolutionary battle between mustard plants and their predators. Bad taste! Learn to like it! Worse taste, keep evolving. And now we have mustard bombs in the fridge? I always thought hotdogs were just an excuse to eat condiments. Turns out they're a weapon with a roll in the mustard bomb war. Anyway, spiderflowers have now escaped gardens and laboratories in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 9/6/11. Cleome family, Cleomaceae.